While “multi-channel” started as a buzzword it evolved to a necessity for every online business. Being able to connect with customers on their preferred channels became a potent sales strategy. However, the status of being one of the best strategies to increase sales came with multi-channel messaging enabled by multi-channel chatbots that solved the issue of scalability.
Expanding to multiple channels is almost impossible without some level of automation. Chatbots help brands to serve their customers wherever and whenever they are without forcing them to invest large amounts of resources by hiring more people. Thanks to that, chatbots and conversational apps are starting to dominate customer communication, especially in eCommerce.
In this article, we will explore how employing an automated multi-channel messaging strategy can help you power up your marketing campaigns, offer more chances for selling your product or services as well as increase customer engagement and satisfaction through convenient support.
Multichannel strategy is about giving your customers the power of choice. It’s all about making it as simple as possible for them to shop from or get in touch with your business whenever, wherever and however they want.
Simply put, a multi-channel approach brings your business to the channels where your target audience spends their time naturally. Hence, allowing you to eliminate the unnecessary steps in the customer journey.
The multi-channel approach is no news though there have been some developments in ways to go about it.
From the sales perspective, multi-channel strategy relates more to making the purchase possible on a variety of channels besides your website:
On the other hand, multi-channel messaging focuses on providing pre and post-sale support/engagement on your website and other messaging channels in a quick, easy, and natural way.
What’s the difference between the two concepts?
Why betting on multi-channel messaging may be more important?
The answer lies in looking at it from a user perspective.
When it comes to shopping style, consumers are creatures of habit. If they like to shop on the original website they tend to stick to it, if they love the experience of shopping in an online marketplace it’s unlikely they will ever bother to visit your website. The same thing goes for traditional communication channels. If a person likes to call, they will always call and if they prefer to email, they will always email. They are unlikely to change their preferred channel of communication. Hence, from your perspective you are offering a multi-channel customer experience, serving your customers where they are. However, your customers see it as just a convenient experience because they are unlikely to be anywhere else.
This behavior is different when it comes to messaging.
In a recent interview with Warren Levitan, the cofounder of Smooch (acquired by Zendesk) pointed out that messaging is more context-based as opposed to habit-based.
Hence, the best messaging channel to contact a brand depends on what you are doing in that instant. For example, if you are currently browsing Facebook or Instagram and see your ad, the fastest way to get in touch is via a Messenger or Instagram DM. Alternatively, if a customer is on your website, the fastest way to get answers is to open that widget and ask… or, perhaps, your target consumer might be on the go and not always able to reply immediately so the most comfortable way to reach the resolution is via WhatsApp. Whatever the channel, the modality – instant chat – remains the same.
Therefore, multi-channel messaging strategy is multi-channel for the brand as well as the customer. And still, that is not the only advantage of being present on most popular messaging channels.
Multi-channel messaging allows you to be where your customers are. However, it also provides them with the kind of reciprocal, personalized, interactive experience that has been consistently outperforming direct one-way advertising.
There are several ways multi-channel messaging can optimize your sales process and increase revenue whether you are a large, medium, or small business.
The potential return on investment is even more interesting considering no-code communication automation platforms like Landbot made multi-channel chatbots not only quick to develop, deploy, and manage but also affordable.
For marketing to be not only effective but also efficient, you need to understand your customers. The more contextualized and personalized the approach, the more likely they are to engage and convert.
Chatbots, single or multichannel have proven to be one of the most effective lead generation, qualification, and nurture tools as of yet.
Imagine publishing a banner or sending a generic email about a new product launch or sale. Now imagine messaging someone on their personal account promoting a sale of a product they purchased or even just liked before or informing them about a launch of a specific line of products/features that relates to their past preferences.
The second scenario is likely to have a significantly higher conversion rate but also requires more work… or does it?
Multichannel chatbots are great data collectors as well as keepers. They collect user information and preferences in a natural unobtrusive way and are able to “pull them out” and use them in the conversation in real-time, whenever the situation asks for it.
Better yet, modern chatbots can act more like conversational apps or workflow tools sending the collected data straight to your CRM or another database. In other words, they do your market research for you. You can plug them into any software and keep conversation and purchase history with a customer up to date at all times. And so, personalize and improve not just conversations but every other communication your brand projects.
Landbot, for instance, is helping brands create frictionless personalized communication experiences at scale. Whether you build a bot for WhatsApp, Messenger, or another messaging app, you will be able to send out automatic restock notifications based on customer history as well as run click-to-message campaigns that engage, qualify and nurture your leads instantly.
Any online business is, unfortunately, familiar with the painful reality of an abandoned shopping cart. According to Statista, in 2019, the global cart abandonment rate concerning shoppers who gave up on a purchase during a payment process was 69.57%.
Can multi-channel chatbots help you get your cart abandonment rate under control?
According to MerchantSavvy, while desktop sales are still worth notably more on average, the gap between desktop and mobile spends is closing worldwide with every passing year. More importantly, mobile share of the total online traffic continues to grow.
There is nothing more natural to smartphone communication than messaging. Therefore, by reaching out to potential customers directly on their phones – whether it’s through WhatsApp API, Facebook Messenger, SMS, WeChat or Line – helps you deliver cohesive, engaging experiences regardless of the channel.
Besides reminding users about their abandoned carts, a multi-channel chatbot can also provide answers to the doubts that cause the cart abandonment in the first place. Offering an answer or providing more suitable product suggestions can be the invisible barrier that keeps abandoned carts from converting.
In a world where 70% of consumers regard brands that contact them with proactive customer support notifications more highly, being active and reachable on the communication channels your customers already use and love is an easy way to go the extra mile and differentiate from the competition.
Customer loyalty is everything.
Studies and statistics showed us time and time again that keeping existing customers engaged and loyal to a brand is the road to success. For instance, a study by Invsep showed that acquiring a new customer is 5x more expensive than nurturing an existing one; A study by Fundera estimated that the overall profitability of a company can increase by 25-125% when it reduces its churn rate by only 5%; And, Thanx reported that loyal customers spend, on average, 67% more than new ones.
The problem is 32% of customers will walk away from a brand they love after a single bad experience. A percentage that only grows further with every misstep.
Automated or partly-automated multi-channel messaging provides a simple and interactive way to keep your customers engaged and satisfied. 24/7 service cuts down the time to first response to virtually nothing. And, even if your bots can’t answer every question, they can skillfully identify the problem. Once done, they can send it to an agent in just the right department, avoiding agents transferring a client among themselves like a hot potato and so reducing time to resolution. A study by Helpshift proved that bot+human combo delivered the highest CSAT score across all company channels and processes.
Besides customer service, chatbots also offer a natural and instantaneous way to collect feedback. Why does this matter? Well, DigitalCommerce360 study reported that creating a multi-channel customer feedback opportunity raises loyalty in 89% of the cases. Furthermore, Microsoft study showed that 77% of consumers love when brands and businesses accept their ideas and send feedback.
Imagine a customer receives a WhatsApp or Messenger message where the bot greets them by their name and asks about their last experience. There are no additional steps, no forms to fill out. Just a conversation with a “friend”.
Consumers want their loyalty rewarded with a personalized, frictionless experience that is a testament to the unique relationship they have with your brand. It’s no longer just about a transactional connection that kicks off and dies with a sale, it’s a full-fledged relationship. Building that reciprocal relationship is the key to brand loyalty.
Multi-channel messaging offers easy-to-use solutions that dramatically reduce dropoff, drives sales and increases engagement, maximizing the impact of your communications in real-time.
Last but not least, automated multi-channel experiences help you drive sales thanks to their ability and flexibility to scale without (much) added cost. Hence, they make the transition to multi-channel experiences affordable and accessible to a variety of businesses.
Thanks to multichannel chatbots, adding new channels to your multi-channel experience doesn’t have to involve a hiring spree. Chatbots can keep the conversations flowing on all fronts only transferring the conversation to your human agents when absolutely necessary or important.
Some brands that use chatbots see as much as 80% of their support tickets handled without human interference. For instance, the same Helpshift customer support study I mentioned above shows that while during peak time the number of conversations almost doubled, human agents only saw a minimal increase in workload.
Therefore, creating a chatbot allows you to engage with potential clients on their preferred channels in an efficient and scalable way.
Now, the value of multichannel chatbots is pretty clear. So, if you are curious to know where to start your multi-channel strategy and expand assistance beyond a website chatbot, you gotta meet your customers where they are.
For the time being, the strongest contenders are WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger as they have an active user base of 2 billion and 1.3 billion respectively.
Access to WhatsApp Business API is still somewhat limited, though the initial application and setup process shrank from 4-5 weeks to just a few working days. Furthermore, no-code providers like Landbot make the WhatsApp Business API solution more accessible by removing the need for a developer from the equation.
On the other hand, Facebook Messenger automation is open to all businesses though it did introduce new chatbot restrictions in 2020 in order to simplify user experience. Nevertheless, Messenger is one of the most active communication channels and the bots are there when the user needs them.
Besides customer support, Facebook also made it easy to incorporate multi-channel chatbots into your marketing by allowing you to select “Click-to-Whatsapp” or “Click-to-Messenger” as a CTA for your campaigns.
Multi-channel chatbot is one of the best strategies to increase sales in 2020. With the pandemic changing the business landscape all over the world, automation with a human face is more important than ever.
The no-code tool revolution made this solution accessible and affordable so you can empower your brand regardless of your size or industry. Better yet, the evolution of chatbots into multi-functional conversational apps made conversational assistants ever more essential and powerful.
Start your journey with Landbot, the best no-code multi-channel messaging platform on the market… You can sign up for free!